Legal Immigration Explained in One Simple Chart



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  1. Given that my wife became a citizen four years after immigrating, I do not believe your numbers.

    1. Your handle describes your reading skills?. It DOES say in the graphic that you can do it in four years if you are the spouse of a US citizen, but that is certainly not usual.

      1. “best case scenario: six to seven years”

        Not sure where you’re seeing four.

        1. And for the record, I believe the best case scenario is a bit over three years.

        2. If you add up the numbers in the preceding steps you get 3.5 to 4 years (green card + 3 years + 6-12 months processing time). The summary at the end contradicts the steps leading up to it.

  2. Is there a different process for people who aren’t vaguely middle-eastern males from the 70s?

  3. Is there a different process for people who aren’t vaguely middle-eastern males from the 70s?

    1. gd squirrels

  4. So? Why is it SUPPOSED to be quick ‘n’ easy for anyone who wants in?

  5. What is the process for a US citizen to migrate to Mexico and become a Mexican citizen with full participation rights?

    Pretty much the same as for a Mexican to legally immigrate to the US.…..mexico.php

    “The Permanent Resident Visa is intended for people seeking permanent residency status in Mexico or those who may seek eventual Mexican Citizenship.

    To apply for and be granted this visa, the applicants must:

    have certain family connections in Mexico, or
    apply for retirement status and prove they have sufficient monthly income (or substantial assets) to support themselves, or
    Have 4 years of regular status as Temporary Resident (2 years if legally married to a Mexican spouse or permanent resident) or
    meet a minimum score under the Points System*, or
    be granted residency on humanitarian grounds.

    If your goal is to seek long-term residency in Mexico, or to become a Mexican Citizen, you should apply for a Permanent Resident Visa.

    Examples of the kinds of people who might apply for Permanent Resident Visas:

    Technical or Scientific Professions
    Artists and Sports People

    1. What’s your point? Mexico has tough immigration policies, so the U.S. should too? Two wrongs don’t make a right. If Mexico has shitty financial regulations, that doesn’t mean the U.S. should keep its shitty financial regulations too. The debate is properly about whether such policy is good or bad or in between.

      PS Although Mexico’s immigration policies are irrelevant to the topic, you’ve missed the question of the degree of difficulty related to getting such visas even if the time span is also in years. The difficulty or ease is what’s important.

  6. Migrating to Mexico…

    May I be granted Mexican Citizenship?
    Acquiring Mexican Citizenship (naturalization) is an involved process. As a minimum you must have applied for, and been granted, permanent resident status, although exceptions to this rule may apply, depending upon a variety of circumstances: marriage to a Mexican national, for example, might enable naturalization with a shorter qualification period.

    You will be asked to undertake an exam, which you must pass, in order to acquire naturalization/citizenship. The examination is of a “multiple choice” type, comprises of some fifteen questions, and is not hard?although you will need a basic grasp of the Spanish language to pass it.

    See Blog: Becoming A Naturalized Mexican

    Detailed Information about Mexican Citizenship
    For detailed information about acquiring Mexican Citizenship, including information about the exam you need to pass, contact an immigration lawyer or download the Mexico Immigration Guide eBook

  7. About 1M people manage to navigate the US immigration system legally every year and become US citizens.

    When people talk about “creating a path to citizenship” for illegal aliens, they are completely ignoring the fact that the path, arduous and expensive and long that it may be, do in fact exist already. Illegal aliens generally chose to ignore the path, not make the effort (and yes it is a large effort and one at which many people would fail) to be legal.

    Do we need a more streamlined immigration policy? Perhaps we do. Do we need a way to admit more unskilled workers? Perhaps we do, but that raises a separate issue vis-a-vis the welfare state.

    It’s a troublesome, invasive process to get a conceal carry permit, too. Lots of people manage to do it. The ones who don’t and still carry a gun are set for criminal charges if they get caught. The fact that the process was difficult does not excuse their violation of the law.

  8. I see some pretty quick, straightforward paths in that chart.

    Got family in the U.S.?

    Got skills?



    1. Another path through the system:

      Got family in the U.S.?

      Got a college education?

      Got a job lined up?



  9. considering hispanics generally are left of center on economic issues meaning they will vote people in eventually is a problem.
    This means they will be able to vote in politicians who will take more of my rights.

    Question, if 10 million self proclaimed communist crossed the border and wanting the right to vote would you let them?

    1. Question, if 10 million proclaimed communists were determined to have as many children as possible and brainwash them so they would vote communist would you let them?

    2. Question, if 10 million self proclaimed communist crossed the border and wanting the right to vote would you let them?

      No, they are already excluded under current law; that’s why you are required to swear an oath when you become a citizen.

  10. If one goes to Disneyland, then one must stand in line, pay the admission fee, possibly show I.d., meet standards of dress and conduct, etc. If one does not like these standards, then do not go to Disneyland. Disneyland is under no obligation to change its policies to accommodate visitors.

    Same with the USA. No one is compelling anyone to move to the USA. But if one chooses to immigrate to the USA then one accepts the terms of entry. If the terms for entry or not acceptable for certain immigrants, then those immigrants are free to choose to stay home, or migrate to other countries with other standards for entry.

    Simple as that.

    1. The whole debate is whether the terms of entry are good/moral policy or not. Additionally, conflating a private company’s practices with government coercion (unduly preventing people’s freedom of movement/association to work for Disneyland for example) does not make an apt analogy either.

      1. But the immigration debate really isn’t about freedom of movement, it’s about the ability to receive direct and indirect US government benefits.

        Just by being physically present in the US, you receive a lot of benefits paid for by citizens. That is, even if as libertarians we argue that government isn’t particularly efficient at providing education, defense, clean air and public safety, we do spend a lot of money on it and that money does produce benefits that even illegals enjoy, without paying for it.

        That’s in addition to an increasing willingness of the US government to extend direct financial benefits to legal and illegal immigrants.

    2. If person A wants to hire person B then person C does not get a say.

      It is amazing how you can ride the welfare state slippery slope to fascism, but I don’t find it a particular satisfying justification.

      1. If person A wants to hire person B then person C does not get a say.

        But person C should get a say whether person B can use resources that person C paid for. Since I am forced to pay for roads, police, fire, schools, university, environmental enforcement, etc., I should have a say who gets to use them.

        In a fully libertarian society, that problem would solve itself because communities would be largely private and hence able to determine who moves into them, but we don’t have that choice.

        In a society like ours, the old Swiss system could work, in which immigration is determined at a local level: towns decide whether they want you, and they also assume responsibility for you until after you finally become naturalized.

  11. This is one of the most informative things I’ve ever seen on reason. Bravo!

  12. my friend’s mother makes $64 /hr on the internet . She has been out of work for ten months but last month her income was $18244 just working on the internet for a few hours. go to website….


  13. What about this path?

    Family in the USA? No
    Skills? No
    Does your local government offer spanish translations in the public school and social services application? Class action lawsuit.

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